Sustainable development is a philosophy of resource consumption that believes that it is best to conserve and preserve for future generations while at the same time meeting current human needs. This term was first used in the United Nation’s Brundtland Commission in 1983 that was chaired Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Prime Minister of Norway. Sustainable development is also concerned with the human degradation of natural systems and the relationship of this process to the future social and economic challenges facing humans. Research in sustainable development has expanded greatly since the Brundtland Commission.Further, many governments and private companies now apply the principles of sustainable development to their bottom line.
The BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) model provides a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building...
Vertical farmingLast Updated on 2013-10-24 00:26:41
The advent of agriculture ushered in an unprecedented increase in the human population and their domesticated animals. Farming catalyzed the transformation of hunter-gatherers into urban dwellers. Today, over 800 million hectares is committed to agriculture, or about 38% of the total landmass of the Earth. Farming has re-arranged the landscape in favor of cultivated fields and herds of cattle, and has occurred at the expense of natural ecozones, reducing most of them to fragmented, semi-functional units, while completely eliminating others. Undeniably, a reliable food supply has allowed for a healthier life style for most of the civilized world, while the very act of farming has created new health hazards.
For example, the transmission of numerous infectious disease agents - avian influenza, rabies, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, trypanosomiasis, hookworm,... More »
Indicators of sustainable developmentLast Updated on 2013-10-22 00:10:20
Indicators attempt to convey a broader image than the underlying statistics would suggest. For instance, the average life expectancy of an infant is usually taken to indicate the public health of a population. The purpose of selecting one or more indicators for describing a broader subject is to reduce information overload for data users. The strength and weakness of indicators lie in their selection, which facilitates decision-making but also opens the door to data manipulation.
The alternative is aggregation of statistics and indicators into compound indices. Aggregation methods include the calculation of weighted or unweighted averages, summation in accounts and balances and mathematical reduction of correlated indicators by factor analysis.
Indicator lists of varying length seek to capture the different – economic, environmental, social and institutional –... More »
Chesapeake Bay oyster depletionLast Updated on 2013-10-05 01:13:04Chesapeake Bay oyster depletion has occurred significantly in the period 1960 to 2010. This depletion is caused by a number of factors, including water quality, disease and over harvesting. The native oyster to the Chesapeake Bay and all Atlantic Coast regions is the American or Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica. The Bay's ecological conditions are ideal for oysters, and the oyster fishery was at one time the Bay's most commercially viable enterprises. However, in the last fifty years the oyster population has been devastated. Maryland once had roughly 200,000 acres of oyster reefs; in 2010 it has about 36,000 such reefs. In pre-colonial times, oysters filtered the entirety of the Chesapeake Bay in approximately 3.3 days; by 1988 this time had increased to 325 days. The oyster harvest's gross value has decreased 88% from 1982 to 2007. Today there are fewer... More »
Herman Daly Festschrift: Toward a sustainable and desirable future: a 30 year collaboration with Herman DalyLast Updated on 2013-10-03 22:57:59
This chapter is the story of my 30 year collaboration and friendship with Herman Daly, from our early days together at LSU, the formation of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and the journal Ecological Economics, our time together in Maryland while he was at he World Bank and I was at the University of Maryland, and subsequently while we were together at the University of Maryland, and up to the present. The story describes our joint quest to create a more sustainable and desirable society by understanding and managing our world as an integrated whole and acknowledging humans’ role as a part of the ecological systems that support them. Understanding the complex linkages between ecological and economic systems and reinventing economics as a life science are topics that we both pursued, separately and together. We coined the term “natural... More »
Herman Daly Festschrift (e-book)Last Updated on 2013-09-10 16:02:00
Denying Herman Daly: Why Conventional Economics Will not Embrace the Daly Vision
~ by William E. Rees
The Importance of a Just Distribution in a "Full" World
~ by Philip Lawn
Toward a Science-Based Theory of Behavior: Building on Georgescu-Roegen
~ by John Gowdy
From Microeconomics to Macroeconomics to Earth Economics: the revolutionary contributions of Herman Daly
~ by David Batker
Paradigmatic blindness: Why has Conventional Economics Failed to Embrace Daly’s Work?
~ by William E. Rees
Population, resources, and energy in the global economy: a vindication of Herman Daly's vision.
~ by Jonathan Harris
Hicksian Income, Welfare and the Steady State
~ by Salah El Serafy
The sustainable scale of biofuel expansion in Brazil
~ by Peter May and Ademar Ribeiro
~ by Arild... More »
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